fb-pixel Skip to main content

Congrats, Joe Biden’s running mate!

This is going to be so much fun/super-depressing!

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a primary-night rally in Columbia, S.C., on Feb. 29.
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a primary-night rally in Columbia, S.C., on Feb. 29.Sam Wolfe/Bloomberg

Congratulations [insert name here]!

After much deliberation, and frenzied speculation, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has chosen you as his running mate!

Of the eleventy spectacular, accomplished women whose names have been floating about for months, you have emerged as the most valuable, electorally. You are clearly a superstar!

You’ve run plenty of gauntlets in your career, but this one was the tippety topper. You made it through the grueling vetting process, the polls and focus groups to gauge your appeal, the trial balloons and dredgings-up of your imperfections and long-ago missteps.

And you are intact, more or less. Thanks to that nice thick skin you’ve grown over a lifetime of being held to standards that magically evaporated when it came to the men around you. Your whole life has been a quest for that elusive sweet spot, which you’d swear does not exist, but for the fact that many voters know it when they see it and wonder why you and every other woman can’t seem to find it. It’s right there, between too old and too young; dumpy and too attractive; smart and lecture-y; pushy and pushover; passionate and angry. At that same spot also lies likability, authenticity, a nice laugh, and a standable voice.

There, too, you will find that divine balance between healthy and unhealthy ambition. That last one appears from some reports to have been especially important to Biden advisors, who let it be known that they didn’t want the veep nominee to be eyeing the top job, lest she try to outshine him in the White House.


It’s odd that this doesn’t seem to have been a problem when Biden was selected as Barack Obama’s running mate: Biden clearly wanted to be president, having twice run unsuccessfully for the nomination before ascending to the number two spot. Yet that didn’t stop him from being a fiercely loyal second fiddle.


But in the lead-up to Biden’s announcement, it seemed like his advisers didn’t trust some veep candidates to do the same. It seems an odd standard, but you’ve met it: You’re ready to step into the top job — to succeed, if need be, a 77-year-old nominee who has called himself a transitional figure — but you don’t really, really want to do it. Well done!

Of course, no matter what you’ve told the codgers, you will overshadow Biden. How could you not? Like every other woman considered for this job, you’re younger, more vibrant and more eloquent than he is, more fluent on policy, and definitely less gaffe-prone. You’re a trailblazer whose ascension would be historic. You could not fade into the background if you wanted to.

But let’s not dwell on all of that. Now is the time to celebrate!

Quickly, though, because you have, oh, about five minutes before the garbage starts raining down upon you.

The president and his acolytes have been eagerly awaiting your arrival. Trump’s playbook has been pretty useless against Biden: As the Democratic nominee himself predicted, the race baiting and misogyny that worked so well when directed at Obama and Hillary Clinton are useless against a moderate white man. And Trump’s attempts to paint Biden as a tool of leftists have gone nowhere.

So stymied is the president that he’s resorting to laughably incoherent attacks like the one he made in Cleveland last week: “He’s following the radical left agenda. ... No religion, no anything. Hurt the Bible, hurt God.”


Hurt God? Wow, if Biden is that powerful maybe he’s just the guy to fix the economy and get a handle on this pandemic.

This is of course exactly what voters who held their noses and voted for Biden in the primary were hoping for: a candidate who would be immune to the culture-war attacks that have carried so many Republicans to victory in recent years.

Well, all of that pent-up rage has to go somewhere, and it’s definitely headed your way. Besting the wooden Mike Pence in debates is the least of your worries: Prepare for every ugly attack they made on Hillary Clinton to be retrofitted and lobbed in your direction.

The future of this country hangs on your ability to withstand their worst. No pressure, though. Congrats again!

Biden-[insert name here] 2020!

Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham can be reached at yvonne.abraham@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeAbraham.